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Looking For Answers
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Dear Editor,

As a practicing pediatrician in Oakdale for 20 years, I have a deep commitment to quality healthcare for the residents of this community and neighboring communities. As Oak Valley Hospital’s Vice Chief of Staff for two years and Chief of Staff for two years, I served as a member of the Oak Valley Hospital District Governing Body Board. My term concluded this January as we rotated Chief of Staff responsibilities.

During those four years I witnessed a knowledgeable Board and a dedicated CEO work together to insure the best possible patient care and take innovative and courageous steps to insure our new hospital will open on time and on budget. CEO John Friel has demonstrated exemplary leadership in moving us toward completion of a state-of-the-art hospital that our patients deserve.

We now have newly elected Board members whose motives I do not understand. For reasons unexplained, they want to disrupt hospital operations at a critical juncture by voicing lack of support for the CEO. I have attended Board meetings and have asked questions, but I receive no answers.

I am not the only physician concerned about what is occurring in “closed sessions” and not reported. The majority of local physicians strongly support and endorse our current CEO. Most of us simply do not understand why our concerns, opinions and first hand perspectives have not been taken seriously. Physicians are an integral part of any successful hospital. We admit and treat patients at this hospital so we have a very high stake in how the hospital is administered and financed.

I would urge the current Board to explain their mysterious actions, not just to physicians, but to the community. We all have a tremendous stake in completing the hospital project, insuring a smooth transition of services to the new hospital, and providing our employees with stability in a management team. We have already lost our CFO. It is the wrong time to dismiss our CEO as well.


Krystyna Belski, MD